Re-Rating the World’s Languages—Waxaklahun Ubah K’awil and José Felipe Hernandez y Fernandez SpecGram Vol CLI, No 2 Contents An Optimality-Theoretic Account of the History of Linguistics: Past, Present, Future—Book Announcement from Psammeticus Press

U.S. Government Linguists in Action

presented by
A. Nonymous, Linguist (CIA Covert Linguistics Program),
B. Nonymous, Linguist (FBI Overt Linguistics Program),
and C. Nonymous, Linguist (NSA No Such Linguistics Program)

The following transcript was made at a special top-secret meeting of U.S. government linguists. By an unusual quirk of the system governing classified material, almost none of
with Ada.Text_IO;

procedure Hello is
   Ada.Text_IO.Put_Line ("Hello, world!");
end Hello;
— Ada
this conversation itself is classified, though the broader reasons for the conversation are apparently classified “eyes-only alpha-level SCI top-secret.” Actually, just mentioning that may have been a breach. Oops.

We thought that we would capitalize on this loophole to publicize this exciting exchange of important ideas, in an effort to recruit linguists into the exciting, rewardingthough not necessarily financially rewardingworld of U.S. Federal Government service.

As background, we are able to divulge that the narrow purpose of this meeting was to discuss translations of the term beananator, which is of unknown (i.e., highly classified) import.

Please don’t read any further if you are not a U.S. citizen of utmost loyalty and/or affiliated with the political party currently in power.

—transcript begins—

Andrew: [reading from the previous meeting’s minutes] At our last meeting I proposed frijolador as the Spanish translation of beananator. [redacted] will have to [redacted] [redacted] [redacted]!

 Ubercode 1 class Hello
 public function main()
   call Msgbox("Hello", "Hello, world!")
 end function
 end class
— Ubercode
Barbara: Andrew, you ignorant slut! Let me say, parenthetically, that for the purposes of Executive Order 3-14159 Section 265.3.5 Paragraph 8.9-7932 Sub-Paragraph, that this is a literary allusion and not an instance of sexual harassment. [redacted] [redacted] [redacted]!

Anyway, it’s frijolodador because frijolador would back-translate to beanator which is just wrong! A perfectly faithful morphemic translation of beananator might be frijololador, but that just does not roll off my [redacted] tongue as easily.

I’m tremendously proud of [writing on white board] she’u’on which starts like she’u’itHebrew for beanand ends like sha’onclock, with the morpheme -on being a bit suggestive in meaning of “device” or “artifact”.

I trust we can improve on the previously suggested haricoire en français.

Conrad: Don’t forget [redacted] in German!

Andrew: Barbara, you ignorant slut! Rocky Horror Picture Show is hardly literature! You have lost all academic credibility at this point.

Further, your grasp of English is almost as bad as your grasp of Spanish. Etymologically, [writing on white board] the -inator/-anator suffix comes from name of the main character in the movie The Terminator. It has been promulgated by the Copy Guy, [redacted] [redacted] [redacted] [redacted], the “Shermanator”, and countless others.

max v2;
#N vpatcher 10 59 610 459;
#P message 33 93 63 196617 Hello world!;
#P newex 33 73 45 196617 loadbang;
#P newex 33 111 31 196617 print;
#P connect 1 0 2 0;
#P connect 2 0 0 0;
#P pop;
— Max
So, a glaring error in your analysis is the apparent interpretation of -an- in beananator as reduplication. It is not. If it were, though, you could have scored points with frijololador. Rather, -anator is an allomorph of the “doer” morpheme -er/-or (e.g., worker, percolator). The novel -inator/-anator/-ator form is nothing but the generalization of a euphonious re-analysis of the now-overlapping morpheme boundaries in words of the sort under discussion.

In addition, I have a [redacted] to [redacted] you. [redacted] [redacted] sucks.

Now, in at least broad outline, I know that Conrad agrees with me on this. Do you know what that means!? If two linguists agree on an analysisthat’s it, argument over.. because as any linguist who has studied the subtle yet powerful method of mathematical induction knows, if anything is true twice, it is always true. More advanced linguists are able to make global generalizations from a single case, but that hardly seems necessary here.

As for she’u’on [pointing to white board], I think you are misspelling shee-yit, which I can assure you, being a native Texan, is also the correct pronunciation of the word.

Barbara: I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to your most recent specious argument. What would
BEGIN { print "Hello, world!"; exit }
make it even better is if you were to propose, say, an allomorph of -ador which was analogously hip. As a non-example, geminate the final consonant of the root, so [writing on white board] <geminate>+ador applied to frijol would become frijollador. I say non-example because I’m not a hip speaker of Spanish. That said, it would take away from the pure rant nature of your argument to actually put up a constructive suggestion.

And it’s not Rocky Horror, it’s SNL, you snobby slut!

[redacted] is an [redacted] [redacted] that does [redacted] in [redacted] [redacted] [redacted] for [redacted]. [redacted] [redacted] and [redacted] [redacted] ago [redacted] [redacted] [redacted] [redacted] [redacted] on this [redacted] [redacted] or [redacted] that [redacted] the other [redacted].

Lastly, I [pharyngeal fricative] in your general direction.

Andrew: I got nuthin’.

Danielle: Knowing that it can be dangerous to walk into the middle of a conversation-cum-brawl, I offer the following: I’ve just Googled up a transcript from an SNL episode originally aired some time in the 70s on my PDA. In it, Jane Curtin says: “Dan, I know exactly what you’re going to say: ‘Jane, you ignorant slut!...’ ”

— Spaghetti
Andrew: Hey! I never let facts get in the way of a good discussion, except when they are on my side. A quick Google on my PDA tells me that the Rocky Horror Picture Show came out in 1975, while that particular episode of SNL aired 11/11/1978. Rocky Horror is clearly the earlier source.

Conrad: [whispering to Andrew] You know that you are in fact completely wrongright?

Andrew: [whispering to Conrad] I know, but I seem to be winning by virtue of sheer loudness. [redacted]-[redacted]!

Barbara: It doesn’t matter which came first. What matters is who said “Some name, you ignorant slut!” firstor at all.

In all the times I have watched the Rocky Horror Picture Show I do not remember any mention of that phrase. Whereas the highlight of SNL was when Dan Ackroyd would say “Jane, you ignorant slut”.

Andrew: D’oh!

Barbara: [redacted]!

Conrad: Busted!

Barbara: To change the subject back to something work-related, I think we should recommend that the [redacted] [redacted] Agency coin the term nopanatora derogatory name that a geek can call a suit who just sits and NOPs all day.

Andrew: Nopanator. Heh, heh. Good one. It’s an action item!

%begin @jump $main
%main.0 @echo %msg
%main.1 @end
%main.count 2
%msg hello world
— T
Conrad: Darn suits!

Danielle: ROFL!

Conrad: Danielle, why do you say “ROFL” instead of just laughing?

Danielle: STFU!

Conrad: [redacted] [redacted] such an [redacted]!

Ernie [from the hallway]: Hey, which of you guys had “right hook v” in the office pool for the new IPA Symbol? You just won thirty dollars! [gunshots are heard on the tape] [redacted] [redacted] [redacted]!!

—transcript ends—

We hope this small excerpt of from the everyday life of a U.S. government linguist encourages promising young scholars to consider a career with the federal government in a patriotic and important line of work.

— Choon

Selected Annotated References

On Careers in Linguistics: Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (Jones)

On Induction in Linguistics: Minimal Forests: The Threat Of Linguistic Devastation As A Result of Deforestation (Greenan & Hopp)

On the Uses of Rhetoric in Linguistic Argumentation: Twenty Special Forms of Rhetoric (Seely)

Re-Rating the World’s Languages—Waxaklahun Ubah K’awil and José Felipe Hernandez y Fernandez
An Optimality-Theoretic Account of the History of Linguistics: Past, Present, Future—Book Announcement from Psammeticus Press
SpecGram Vol CLI, No 2 Contents